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Trump Approves Sale of Anti-Tank Weapons to Ukraine

March 27th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Washington has been supplying Ukrainian putschists with weapons and munitions since 2014.

They’re used for naked aggression on Donbass, along with homeland repression.

In December, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert lied, saying the Trump administration is supplying Ukraine with “enhanced defensive capabilities as part of our effort to help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity, to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to deter further aggression.”

False! They’re for offense, not defense. Ukraine’s only enemies are invented ones.

Donbass freedom fighters want democratic rule Kiev rejects, governing ruthlessly, guilty of war crimes and horrendous human rights abuses.

Washington’s 2014 Ukraine Freedom Support Act (UFSA) authorized lethal and non-lethal aid, including sniper and assault rifles, hand grenade launchers, mortars and shells, portable stinger missiles, anti-tank and anti-armor missiles.

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11 Nations Sign TPP Deal

March 27th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Signatory countries include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam - America withdrew, China excluded.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation earlier called TPP “a secretive, multinational trade agreement that threatened to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement.”It’s NAFTA on steroids, a stealth corporate coup d’etat, a giveaway to corporate predators, a neoliberal ripoff, a freedom and ecosystem destroying nightmare.

Corporate predators and lobbyists representing them wrote the agreement, exclusively benefitting business interests at the expense of public health and welfare.

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Trump Agrees to Meet with North Korean Leader: Hold the Cheers

March 27th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Kim Jong-un invited Trump to meet face-to-face “as soon as possible,” according to South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui Yong, saying:

“North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests. I told President Trump that at our meeting (in Pyongyang), North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he’s committed to denuclearization” - provided his country’s security is guaranteed, what’s been unattainable throughout the post-WW II period. On Thursday, Trump tweeted: “Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze.”

“Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!”

According to Chung, a meeting between both leaders will take place by May. North Korea will suspend nuclear and ballistic missile tests ahead of and during talks.

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Trump Announced Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

March 27th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

An earlier article, I asked if Trump intends waging trade war, notably against China.

In late January, his administration announced 30% tariffs on imported solar panels and modules, declining over a four-year period to 15%.

Stiff tariffs on imported washing machines and parts were also imposed – 20% (for the first 1.2 million units, 50% above this total) and 50% respectively for year one, reduced to 16% (40% above 1.2 million units) and 40% respectively by year three.

On Thursday, Trump announced imported tariffs of 25% on steel, 10% on aluminum, aimed at China, the world’s largest producer of these commodities.

The announcement came at a time its top economic official Liu He (expected to be named financial and industrial policy vice premier) is in Washington, discussing bilateral trade and economic relations with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn.

On Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying slammed what she called US “protectionist tools.”

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Russia’s March Presidential Election

February 28th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Scheduled for March 18, eight candidates seek Russia’s highest public office, including:

Sergey Baburin (All-Russia National Union party)

Pavel Grudinin (Communist Party)

Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democratic Party)

Ksenia Sobchak (Civil Initiative party)

Maxim Suraikin (Communists of Russia)

Boris Titov (Party of Growth)

Grigory Yavlinsky (Yabloko Party)

Vladimir Putin, running as an independent

US and Russian electoral politics are world’s apart. Aspirants for federal, state and local elections in America are money-controlled, notably candidates for the nation’s highest office.

In 2016, around $6.5 billion was spent on presidential and congressional elections combined, according to OpenSecrets.org - including primary races, most money spent for advertising, largely on television.

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Mapping Trump’s Empire: Assets and Liabilities

February 26th, 2018

James Petras

The US empire spans the globe; it expands and contracts, according to its ability to secure strategic assets, willing and able to further military and economic power to counter emerging adversaries.

The map of empire is a shorthand measure of the vectors, reach and durability of global power and wealth. The map of empire is changing -- adding and subtracting assets and liabilities, according to the successes and retreats of domestic and overseas power centers. While the US empire has been engaged in intense conflicts in the Middle East, the imperial map has been enlarge elsewhere at lower cost and greater success.

Enlarging the Empire

The US empire has substantially increased its scope and presence in several regions, especially in Latin America. The additions and enlargements include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Central America, Peru and the Caribbean. The most important asset redrawing the empire in Latin America is Argentina. The US has gained military, economic and political advantages. In the case of Argentina, political and economic advances preceded military expansion.

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Florida High School Shooting

February 26th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Numerous shooting incidents in America turned out to be false flags. Most often suspects are killed. Dead men tell no tales.

False flag incidents aim to stoke fear. The 9/11 mother of them all launched endless US wars of aggression, the incident used as a pretext to wage global war OF terror at home and abroad, not on it.

It’s too soon to know whether hidden motives lay behind Wednesday shootings at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida - a violent incident or state-sponsored false flag?

Suspicions are warranted when mass shootings in US or European cities occur. Was suspected 19-year-old gunman Nicolas Cruz guilty of mass murder or a convenient patsy?

According to the Palm Beach Post, “Parkland ranked as one of Florida’s safest cities.”

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Super Protest on Super Bowl Sunday

February 13th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Super bowl Sunday and events preceding the game are as much about theater and hype as sport.

It’s a money-making extravaganza from advertising revenue alone - a 30-second spot costing over $5 million.

Over 100 million viewers watch the spectacle. It’s the most over-hyped entertainment event of the year, audience size far exceeding Oscar night.

Football is a violent sport, injuries commonplace, at times disabling. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was hospitalized in December for two months following major spinal stabilization surgery.

It took weeks for him to regain movement in his legs. He may never play again. He’s undergoing long-term rehabilitation to try regaining mobility, his injury and other major ones players endure a huge price to pay for monetary compensation received.

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Making America Great Through Exploitation, Servitude and Abuse

February 12th, 2018

James Petras

The public denunciation by thousands of women and a few men that they had been victims of sexual abuse by their economic bosses raises fundamental issues about the social relations of American capitalism.

The moral offenses are in essence economic and social crimes. Sexual abuse is only one aspect of the social dynamics facilitating the increase in inequality and concentration of wealth, which define the practices and values of the American political and economic system.

Billionaires and mega-millionaires are themselves the products of intense exploitation of tens of millions of isolated and unorganized wage and salaried workers. Capitalist exploitation is based on a rigid hierarchy with its private prerogatives, which enables the oligarchs to demand their feudal privileges, their seigniorial sexual predations.

US capitalism thrives on and requires unlimited power and the capacity to have the public treasury pay for its untrammeled pillage of land, labor, transport systems and technological development. Capitalist power, in the United States, has no counterpart; there are few if any countervailing forces to provide any balance.

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Living in an Orwellian Tyranny

February 12th, 2018

Gilad Atzmon

Yesterday Nick Timothy, Theresa May's former aide, was accused of using an antisemitic slur in his article on Brexit. He co-authored a Telegraph report titled, George Soros, the man who 'broke the Bank of England', backing secret plot to thwart Brexit.

Not only did Timothy not criticise Soros as a Jew, he didn’t even refer to him as a Jew. But it seems the fact that Soros is a Jew was enough to censure Timothy as an ‘antisemite.’ It took no more.

Stephen Bush wrote in The New Statesman , “The reason that many find the Telegraph's treatment so disturbing is that Soros, who is Jewish, has been at the centre of a series of anti-Semitic conspiracies by the increasingly authoritarian governments in Poland, Hungary and Turkey.” It is mildly amusing that the banal Stephen Bush can’t see that he himself employs an authoritarian manner of thought. Unless guilt by association has become Britain’s press’ MO, the fact that some regimes not approved of by Bush or The New Statesman decided to cleanse themselves of Soros’ infiltration has little relevance to Timothy or his argument.

Full story »

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